From Kirsten Bischoff, Opalesque New York:
"This month [May], we played a lot on the short side," says Eric Fine, former head of emerging markets research and founder of emerging markets prop trading at Morgan Stanley. He is current Portfolio Manager of the emerging markets macro G-175 Strategy at Van Eck Absolute Return Advisers Corp. Van Eck manages $22 billion, including $3 billion in emerging market focused funds.
For Fine and his team, focusing on putting emerging market asset prices in the right valuation context to each other and to developed markets has been a big driver behind shifting the portfolio to capture performance in both upward and downward moves.
Typically, the G175 strategy focuses on fundamentals, but when technical moves are in play, the most crowded moves (typically those based on fundamental analysis) are often the ones that suffer the most. Making money every month is the focus, therefore, positions that the team sees priced well and that are cheap are left on the table until markets stabilize. "Right now the most bullish we want to be is no risk on," he says.
This has meant collapsing the portfolio's investment horizon from 3-12 months to mere hours. "For May, we pretty much had a 24 hour investment horizon," Fine says. "Shorts can really punch you in the nose because there is always the risk of intervention on the other side."
Overall, EM investors struggle to commit to market opportunities
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